JANUARY 16, 2020

Meet WEPOWER’s Inaugural Cohort of Elevate/Elevar Entrepreneurs

After talking to hundreds of founders, reviewing 90+ applications, interviewing 40+ entrepreneurs, and 800+ community members voting, we have selected 10 dynamic Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to join WEPOWER’s inaugural cohort of the Elevate/Elevar Accelerator.

I don’t think we could have selected a more perfect cohort of entrepreneurs. They are scaling tech, health, and construction companies. They are creating delectable vegan dishes. They are supporting boys across the globe with growing their literacy skills. They are St. Louis proud and committed to sparking economic development in areas like North St. Louis City.

Visit this link to read a brief profile of each member of the cohort.

Companies accepted into our inaugural cohort will access connections, co-working, and curriculum, and capital that will elevate their ability to be investment ready and scale their company to newer heights.

The potential, the commitment, and the incredible entrepreneurialism of our inaugural cohort is a story of possibility.

  • They teach us that it is possible to invest – our hope and our resources – into Black and Latinx folks – knowing they have what it takes to thrive against traditional, often flawed metrics while putting community and (social) equity at the center.
  • They teach us that it is possible to dare to develop areas like North St. Louis City – not allowing excuses and fear to enable our region’s complacency when it comes to areas where Black folks are concentrated.
  • They teach us that it is possible to achieve the impossible even when folks and the systems they design are counting them out.
  • They teach us, in the great words of Mae Jamison, the first Black woman to travel to space,“ Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”

Let their unflinching courage to redefine what’s possible and inspire us to chart a new way of doing business in our region.

The Elevate/Elevar Accelerator celebrates the vast untapped potential of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and the urgent opportunity to spark economic development and wealth building in low-wealth communities.

Over the next three years, WEPOWER has an ambitious goal to support 50 Black and Latinx entrepreneurs through the Elevate/Elevar Accelerator. We are committed to companies that have the potential to spark job creation and economic opportunity in low-wealth St. Louis communities.

Together, our region has an opportunity to simultaneously elevate founders and communities to build shared economic power by accelerating differently.

Our new report Dream of Change, Accelerate Creators shares how and why we designed the accelerator this way. It’s part of our strategy working towards a future where every community has power, the ability to act and self-determine.

Now, we need you to join us.